May 10, 2023

723: Can We Survive the Dark Side of Drone Technology?

@DroneOn1 on Unleashing the Potential of Drone Technology

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If you're interested in the intersection of technology and society, you won't want to miss this thought-provoking discussion between Brian Nichols and Thomas Banks on The Brian Nichols Show. As a technology CEO with a passion for tech, Banks brings a unique perspective to the table as Banksand Nichols explore the implications of drone technology and the challenges posed by technology run amok.

In his book, 'Indefensible', Banksexplores the consequences of new technologies such as drones and AI, arguing that they have the potential to cause significant harm if used in the wrong way. From drones carrying explosives in Ukraineto the thousands of people killed while using their cell phones while driving, Banksreminds us that we must be careful when creating and using new technologies.

As the conversation unfolds, Banksand Nicholsdiscuss both the positives and negatives of drone technology, including the need for companies to adjust to the changing landscape of technology and the concerns that come along with it.

While Bankspaints a worst-case scenario, he ultimately hopes that people will find ways to counteract the potential danger. He even discusses a mobile game in his book that attempts to solve the problem of an uncontrollable terror threat by redirecting drones. Whether you're interested in technology, society, or simply enjoy thought-provoking conversations, this episode of The Brian Nichols Show is not to be missed.


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Brian Nichols  0:09  
What's that in the sky? It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a drone. And we're going to talk about that instead of focusing on winning arguments for teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, hey there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us on of course, another fun filled episode. I am as always your humble host joining you live from our BNC Studios here in lovely Eastern Indiana folks, the recession it is in fact right around the corner. We're seeing it bank after bank collapsing and a lot of small businesses are starting to shake in their boots and rightfully so. So now is the time to revamp your messaging and sales strategies if you need help doing so. Check us out at Brian Nichols consulting and email me at Brian at Brian Nichols. All right, folks, let's talk about drones now with the advancement of technology. Yeah, it has a lot of positives and a lot of great benefits but also a lot of question marks in some places a lot of concerns and to talk up today about the advancement of drone technology and all of the concerns that will definitely come along with that joining us to talk about his his son was brand new book but soon to be movie question. Mark. Joining us Thomas banks indefensible, welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.

Thomas Banks  1:33  
Thanks for having me, Brian. Absolutely. Thomas, thank

Brian Nichols  1:36  
you for joining us looking forward to digging into things, all things talking about drones, but first do us a favor. Introduce yourself here to The Brian Nichols Show audience and why the focus on drone technology

Thomas Banks  1:47  
Well, Brian, it's great to meet you. I'm a My background is tech. I've been a technology CEO my whole life. And so I've always been deeply entrenched in technology. And I'm the guy that everybody comes to at the parties and says, How do you do this? Or deep Can I get a job? It's one of those things and my wife's a physician, we would go to a party and people would say what do you do? And I always tell them, I'm a salesman, then they would leave me alone. But the moment you're telling me you're a CEO of a public company, or whatever, then they've got their retarded brother they're bringing by and or they want you to help them with their computer. And so I've always found if I really want to keep away tell them I'm an insurance salesman. That's the the I was I was sitting at a Panera one evening with a buddy of mine. It was a we're on the patio smoking cigars. Probably the best plein air in America. You could smoke cigars on the patio, and a drone was flying by and he said what's that? You know, a bird in the sky kind of hanging out you just did? And I said, Well, that's a drone. And he goes, What do you mean, I told him what it was and he goes, Well, that's very cool. And all of a sudden it dawned on me. That's not very cool. Because what is it capable of? And it's all about unintended consequences. The guys who invented the cell phone, never imagined that they would have 50,000 lives on their hands of people who died selling on their cell phones driving cars. It's all about the unintended consequences. And so I sat down and within 90 days I wrote a book and published it, and it's indefensible. And it's about the challenges posed with technology that's run amok. And it isn't the kind of technology that requires you to to have time travel with terminators. It's about now. And I call it indefensible because it is indefensible. You can't launch an F 18 up to a swarm of $3,300 drones and expect to take them out of the sky. And when you combine those drones with the threatening weaponization of explosives and poisons like ricin, and the ability to launch them out of the sunrooms of some soccer moms car driven by a terrorist and 50 of them converge on a Busch Stadium or dad or Angel Stadium from all directions at 300 feet. And when they explode, it reeks wreaks havoc. And even if you were to knock them out of the sky with some laser beam or some energy weapon, when it hits the ground and explodes, it's still going to wreak havoc. So it's an it's an indefensible challenge. And so the it just became so obvious to me that we are so dependent on technology, that we're not considering the consequences. Only now people are talking about AI. Come on. AI has been around a long time we've been dealing with AI for a long time, all of a sudden it just happened. It's only just happening because the cats out of the bag and something's wrong. That's why they're they're all concerned. It's like, holy crap. This we did something bad. It's like Oppenheimer, you know, inventing the nuclear bomb. It's like, holy crap. This is not a good thing we did. And so we as humans have this ability. We make a tool and we beat the guy up next door, does what we do. And so when you when you armed people with the technology, even now, in Ukraine, they're there they're launching swarms of these cheap Iranian drones, which are not much more than radio controlled airplanes that can be made for a few $100 in carrying nails and explosives, and they're there in their indefensible. Now imagine terror cells within a country and indefensible takes place across the globe, from Canada, to Australia, to America to England, all across the globe. We're seeing the interaction of the implementation of this kind of threatening technology wreaking havoc, and there's no way to defend against it. What makes it interesting and in my novel is I ended up blaming blending the indefensible terror threat with a possible solution, which is gaming. So in the book, we we reveal, wouldn't it be interesting if you could, somehow capture an influence the drones by Brian playing a mobile game called drone on or something right, and it's just it's a first person shooter, you're flying and blowing crap up, but you don't know you're really, you're really engaging the live drones and redirecting them to safe places. And so no one knows they're doing that and the FBI is recruiting children all over the world know creating these drone control armies and it's really it really was a fun book to write and they but the sad part is, it's a scary scenario, right and indefensible to which will be out at the end of summer. When I started writing it late early last year, it's indefensible to AI. So now we have, we had I had written that I had written the book to be a growth into AI with respect to the technology. So now we have these drone automatons, which can be flying drones can be crawling drones can be swimming drones, it could be robotic drones, this is all this is running amok, and we we simpleton human beings have got to figure out how to deal with this. And there's a hero share Graham's the hero of the book, and he's a former seal and all the cliches. It's a fun book, and it's a fast read. And like I said, I hear from people every day from all over the world. I have reviews from people in India that have read indefensible, then you go India Yeah, I didn't know what was even available there. So it's fascinating that the people that are engaging in indefensible are saying, this is scaring me to death.

Brian Nichols  8:00  
But let me ask you, Tom, because this this goes to the question that I'm sure a lot of the audience is is I'm sure wondering is that well, with all the negatives that you're talking about? There still seems to be a lot of positives that come out of the technology. So Tom, is it fair to say that you're painting a worst case, doomsday scenario that maybe probably won't happen? Or is this something that you're saying is actually more likely than not?

Thomas Banks  8:24  
I think it's inevitable of cobalt and AR and arms manufacturers did not develop their weapons for someone to go shoot up a school, right. The moment people with an agenda wrap their arms around it, when when fentanyl was created, it wasn't created to be an addictive drug for bad he was created for many medicinal purposes. You put it in the hands of the wrong people that see an opportunity. There's our therein lies our problem. And humanity at its core, has issues and whether you're a religious person that you're not. There are people in society that are fundamentally evil, and my concern with with writing indefensible, and I've been challenged by Google saying you shouldn't have written this because you're telling the bad people what to do. And I said, You're confusing. You're confused that you think Achmed Mohammed bin jaw in Afghanistan is an ignorant you know, camel herder. These guys are educated in the West. They're, you know, they come from Cambridge. These are smart people. They don't need me to give them bad ideas. What we need to do is that give ourselves a moment of pause and think about what are the consequences? Why isn't our leadership asking about this? Why isn't the FAA being more robust in preventing it? Why aren't we blocking the import of drones manufactured in China? In the United States, we don't need them. I'm a pilot. I don't like drones flying around in the air where I'm flying. It's a scary thought that you get hit by a five pound object at 5000 feet. Do it and you're doing 200 miles an hour. That's a That's a silly Sullenberger kind of situation. So we have we allow things to be done. You know, there's a constitutional right to own and and possess firearms. Nowhere in the Constitution that say you can have a drone, it doesn't that way. You can't you can go buy an airplane tomorrow. But you cannot fly it without a license. So there are there are controls that can be implemented. And one of them would be to simply cut off the manufacturing this import from places that are building them in droves and selling them for $300. And crazy, Bobby decides to attach a pipe bomb to it.

Brian Nichols  10:53  
Well, Tony asked you, because maybe not necessarily push back, but maybe just, you know, I'm sure again, the audience I'm sure is asking this question. And that is, well, the genies out of the bottle as you said right, the genie has already been on the bottle and now you have the advancement of AI. Would it make more sense instead of trying to put said genie back into the proverbial bottle to instead use the technology that is already out of said bottle and to now start to figure out ways to use the technology to hold the technology in place to hold it to account and let me give an example. Right, let's say for example, you're referring to the swarm of drones that are out there and could cause mayhem. Well, what if, based on the fact we know that that could be a possibility? states, localities, whatever it may be, have their own drone forces that they have massive nets and they can catch all the drones I'm just tossing this out there as a silly idea, but just something that instead of saying much like with the argument of well, you know, with this new new automobile, it's going to put all the the milkman out of business going door to door right. Instead, let's try to compete with what we already have as a solution. Just doing it a different way. What are your thoughts there?

Thomas Banks  12:02  
I hear this question a lot. The there are, there are disruptive technologies. There are energy beam technologies roaming around on Stryker vehicles that could take down some of the drones promise as Stryker vehicle cost $35 million. Now you want once one, properly equipped, striker can handle a portion of the airspace. So to protect a city you probably need 10 or 20 of those strikers positioned all over the place, multiplied by all the cities multiplied by all the states. We're talking about trillions of dollars worth of equipment that isn't readily available. Now. The military industrial complex is probably wringing their hands saying, Oh, wow. And we had to sell a bunch of these things. But the moment they have that, rest assured there will be a counter to it right now as the the Feds require drone manufacturers to incorporate software that geo fences, the drones activity around airports, for example. That's great. But a terrorist isn't going to implement geofencing you can make a drone with a bunch of Lego parts, a couple a few motors and a pie computer for under 50 bucks. Turn it on, send it to us way.

Brian Nichols  13:23  
So really quick to that. How do you make that illegal then because if anybody can do it based on as you said, a few Legos in some motors, I mean, again, isn't this genie already out of the bottle them?

Thomas Banks  13:34  
Yeah, well, like I said, it's indefensible. It is out of the bottle. And, but we the average guy isn't going to do that. Okay, it's gonna require a little technology guy, a software guy if you things like that. They will get caught and they need to be prosecuted quickly and needs to be dealt with. But when you have drones coming in in droves, via Amazon, big box stores, you name it, and you're and everybody's got one, and they're whether they're peeking at people swimming at their pool. Or they're trying to do something worse is a serious problem. And the is there an answer? I don't think so. I think technology run amok is a problem in the book because the drones that are being used, they're all GPS controls, you know that these drones are smart. Well, the President of the United States decides, well, let's turn the GPS systems off in the United States. That will stop the drones. Not really drones can use inertial navigation. They could use visual mapping, they could do things but he didn't consider the consequences of what it means to turn GPS off in America. buses don't run doors don't open, you know, prisoners get to walk out of their homes with their with their with their ID tags on it. The society would run amok without GPS. Imagine living without your cell phone and GPS today. So we can't even turn the fundamentals off. Because the economic consequences will be so dire that maybe it's better to blow up a few people I don't know. But the reality is, what we don't want is a bunch of shot gun toting you know, people thinking they're gonna take drones out of the air and start shooting each other and making messes. We need to become more fundamental Stop, stop the use of the technology.

Brian Nichols  15:29  
Let me ask you this. This might be I'm sure you've probably thought about this. But let's say for example, we were to rewind back to I don't know 1980. Right when you had Ronald Reagan talking about his Star Wars plans, and everything that we're talking about today. Sounds like Star Wars, right? It sounds like come on. This is this is science fiction. You're going to have a couple $100 drones that can be made, you know instantaneously from Legos. What and to even put that into the context of someone just 40 years ago. It sounds outlandish. And yet here we are in 2023. As we record today, that this not only is the norm but it's getting cheaper. It's getting easier to find these different options. So let me ask you this. Thomas, if we're sitting here in 2023, who's to say that when the time comes that we're up 2063 that we haven't seen a solution come from the marketplace from someone much like you who has concerns about these, you know, indefensible drones to say, well, we need to have a means to defend ourselves and it's just something that you and I either can't conceptualize right now or we couldn't fathom to your point about the strikers, you know, being how many million dollars apiece, maybe they we have a technology that we find a way to make cost effective that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, but actually ends up being very cost effective and addresses the problem.

Thomas Banks  16:49  
Well, you know, as they say, in medicine, you know, dilutions the dilutions of solution to pollution. You know, if you're that's why nobody cares about swimming in a pool that someone's peed in because they should care. But they don't because it's so diluted the at some point. What I don't want to see happen is armadas of defensive drones popping up out of capsules all over the place in gauging D attack drones and within our daily atmosphere is just filled with with robotic battles going on. Creating this dome of defense really is Star Wars that it will it's frightening when you realize that you know we fear we never imagined airliners being used as missiles. When 911 happened, we were quietly flying around in airplanes and never gave it a second thought. But once someone becomes aware of something, it starts to germinate. I remember after the Challenger accident, remember the Challenger space shuttle, and it was discovered that it was an old ring that froze up and it leaked and it caused the the burning through of this the solid booster. I was sitting on an airline flight one day next to this guy and the flight was delayed in a way of a mechanical problem. And somebody said well what's the problem goes, oh, there's an O ring they have to replace. The guy looked at me got up, grabbed his bag and says I'm out of here. I'm not flying in anything because of an O ring problem. Clearly had nothing to do with the Challenger accident. But he had in his head an O ring. I'm out of this airplane and we will find a solution. I'm not concerned about that in the long run. I am concerned about that the short run. We're ignoring it. And don't be surprised when you hear about drone swarms in Ukraine and blowing up over Moscow. It isn't a it isn't a large leap to go from that to baon or Atlanta. Bad people are happy to do bad things and we need to be perched on the on the edge and being you know, vigilant and say what is going on here? What should our leadership be saying? What should the FAA really be doing? Rather than making you register your drone with a number on the side of it which will be taken off if you're not you're a bad guy? The none of these regulatory things work if we need to find more of a preventive barrier. And one way to do that is to remove it from the marketplace. So that at least minimizes the clutter. So when you have the clutter of good drones flying all over the place, Betty Johnson flying her happy drone taking pictures of Robins. Okay, that's a sweet thought. But so you have a million of those drones flying around and you have 500 terrorist drones. How do you determine how do you identify, you know, where's the signal detection going on to say this is a bad guy. This is a good guy. The what will happen is chaos. It indefensible is a chaotic moment on the boardwalk of Atlanta, where these anti drone militant militia guys are walking around, and he and the guy pops his shotgun and blows the drone up, and he killed little Bobby's drone. It was a kid flying is a little drone at the beach. This can be nothing but the fodder for chaos. And it's one thing we can put our arms around and say timeout people need to have a lot of things but people don't need to have things that clutter the airspace, run the risk of killing airline passengers run the risk of conveying, you know, you know, explosive material. We can manage, you know good drones, delivery drones delivering medicines, but as long as they are regulated and controlled airspace and everyone knows where they are and how they are then anything that isn't in that domain is eliminated immediately. It's like letting a balloon fly across the country for a week. You know, it's if there's a drone flying from the medicine company to a hospital is flying a specific airspace specific track, it's in communication with FAA. We know it's there. But the moment a drone starts flying around that is not recognized. That needs that needs to have that needs to be neutralized. The source needs to be identified and they need to be held accountable.

Brian Nichols  21:39  
Thomas I'm sure this conversation could go on and on and on. But unfortunately we are already getting hard pressed for time which means we are getting towards the part of the show where we do our final thoughts and if you're okay with that, I'll kick things off and you know, I think I think this is an example of where sometimes in the Liberty camp we do get very focused on what we think will work versus the real life. And to your point, this is something you've been raising the bar the bar was a balloon. Yeah, me on balloons. You've been raising the alarm about rather, since 2015 Right when your book was first written. And it is something that I think we have to address. I get concerned though, that we will, in our air, quote, addressing the problem, create more unintended consequences, much like the unintended consequences that you're referring to, as a result of in this case the underbridge completely laissez faire approach to drones right now. So I guess I would say I do have a little bit of cautious approach to this and more so in that the world that I don't want to see it where only a few people and that's going to be predominantly those in government or to your point earlier, a lot of these larger corporations only have the access to drones because for every large retailer that has drones that are doing their you know their massive deliveries across the globe. There's also a mom and pop shop who's looking for a way to have some added advantage that they didn't have otherwise some strategic advantage. That maybe the drone would be the means to to help solve that. Now. I hear maybe some more red tape, some more loopholes, a lot more paperwork that they're going to have to go through in order to get that and I get concerned a little worried that we're going to put people in a bad spot when we're talking about how we're regulating this, but at the same point in time, to your point, it is something that we have to talk about. So I think at the very least what you're helping do is is foster this conversation, help get the people who are listening here in the audience, get the wheels turning what are some solutions that we can come up with folks if we do not think we can get the genie back in the bottle and if my liberty oriented folks here in the audience don't want more government regulation? Well, alright folks, we talk about it the good people network, we build good solutions. So if you guys are out there and you have an idea for a solution, I'm sure I would love to hear about it as well as Tom would love to hear about it as well. So that's my final thoughts. Thomas, what do you have for yours?

Thomas Banks  24:00  
Well, I'm in agreement with you. I'm anti regulation. I'm an entrepreneur, I'm pro innovation, and I think we can innovate our way to a solution. Okay, but being short sighted and ignoring it just means we're going to wake up and find out that this was a bigger problem than we thought, you know, we can discuss global warming, we can discuss all kinds of things the issues are, if we don't do anything about anything, then we've got problems. And so the ignoring it is going to come back and bite us because we're just going to live happily and complacently and wake up one morning to a to a 911 type experience. And that really doesn't make me very happy. I have children. I have a family I have friends. I don't want anyone to fall victim to to uncontrolled technology that that that could be that should at least be high on the list of things to talk about. Not just AI, but mechanisms, delivery systems. How do we control that? How do we protect people? You know, when they talk about regulating AI? How do they expect to do that? You know, ultimately they get to take away your computers they just say you can't have anything. And then that becomes a terrible encroachment on our civil liberties. And I don't want that to happen either. So good people come together with good ideas and we can solve many problems. We have solved amazing problems throughout the course of Humanity. This is just another one of them.

Brian Nichols  25:30  
Well, the book is indefensible. Folks, if you want to go ahead and get your copy, it's available over on Amazon and make sure you get your copy soon because indefensible to AI is right around the corner. where can folks go ahead and follow you Thomas they want continue the conversation.

Thomas Banks  25:47  
Well they can follow me at Twitter on drone on one and they can follow me on my and they can visit our movie site, indefensible. All of those things will point to me at some point, and I'd love to hear from people. I love to get into dialogue. I love to have a conversation. And I like the idea that people are concerned we should all be concerned.

Brian Nichols  26:15  
And you teased it it is that why did the intro movie there's a movie in the works is that

Thomas Banks  26:19  
right? The movie is in the works. The scripts are done as I was sharing with you we have written both a a feature film version of the indefensible movie and a serialized version for screaming so we'll see which one which way it goes. I'm very confident we'll see it sometime toward the end of the year. And we're keeping our fingers crossed. So as as we start to get to the point where you start making announcements. I'll certainly share that with you so you can you can be part of that.

Brian Nichols  26:48  
Fantastic. Well, Thomas, thank you for joining us today and obviously sharing your perspectives and sharing your book indefensible with us and folks, if you want to go ahead, grab your copy. Well it's over. on Amazon but I will also include all those links including Thomas's social media links there in the show notes and by the way, if you're joining us here on YouTube, we're going to have a video pop up right about here. We're going to continue things talking about in this case it was the J six protests we talked about geofencing How did they find a lot of those J six protesters? We're gonna dig into that with Connor boy, he talked about geofencing plus a lot more, a lot more the technology side of things. And by the way, folks, if you join us over on sovereign you get full feature episodes here at The Brian Nichols Show without the paywall, so please go ahead support independent media like sovereign, I'm really excited to share our episodes over there in their entirety. And if you want to support the show, please support the show over on our Patreon dollar 99 A month get you all access to The Brian Nichols Show plus some behind the scenes commentary from yours truly. And by the way Yes, Elon Musk has been talking about turning Twitter into a content platform and Tucker Carlson's putting his flag there. I've experimented a few times with doing some longer form episodes on Twitter. I think we're gonna be going that route as well. So if you have not yet follow me on Twitter at be Nichols liberty, please go do so because we're gonna be putting full episodes here at The Brian Nichols Show. Over on the Twitter's so with that being said, Folks, thank you for joining us keep an eye to the sky. That being said Brian O'Neill signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Thomas banks. We'll see you later. Thank you, Brian. 

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